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UConn men’s hockey tops RIT, 2-1

The Huskies won their second straight contest.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn got their second straight win on Saturday as they battled through a first period goal and lots of penalties to take down RIT at the XL Center, 2-1.

“I was pretty happy with our effort,” head coach Mike Cavanaugh said. “I thought we played a pretty solid game.”

Philip Nyberg and Jesse Schwartz scored for the Huskies, with Schwartz adding an assist. Adam Huska made 21 saves in net.

“He played great,” Cavanaugh said of Huska. “He made some key saves down the stretch.”

RIT committed 12 penalty minutes in the first period and UConn made them pay, scoring two goals with the extra skater as part of a 2-for-9 night on the power play, but the Tigers got on the board first on a nice pass from Abbot Girduckis to Erik Brown at 9:25 of the opening frame.

“I think we had a lot of energy on the bench,” Schwartz said. “They were winning 1-0 but we didn’t that stop us. We just kept going after them.”

The infractions came early and often, with the first one coming just 49 seconds into the game, though it wouldn’t be until Dan Willet was called for interference at 12:01 that anything would come of it.

Nyberg took a pass from Joseph Masonius at the top of the right circle and his wrist shot got through traffic to tie proceedings at 13:37.

“There were two guys going in there and I just shot the puck,” Nyberg said. “It was a good job by them.”

Schwartz followed up just over three minutes later as Maxim Letunov made a nice pass through the crease and found the senior on the left side. He had an open net and didn’t miss it for a UConn lead.

Evan Wisocky was given the secondary assist on the goal for his first career point. With that, all 22 skaters to dress for the Huskies this year have appeared on the scoresheet.

The second period saw eight more penalty minutes get handed out - four to each side - preventing the game form having any flow, but neither squad was able to take advantage of the power play time.

In the third, penalties were limited and UConn had strong opportunities to put the game away, but they were unable to and the game went into the final moments.

“We didn’t put them away when we had a chance to, but in the end Adam made some big saves,” Cavanaugh said.

RIT spent the final 1:02 without their goaltender and got shots on Huska, but they did not score and UConn emerged with their second consecutive win.

UConn (5-10-2) resumes conference play at home on Tuesday against No. 12 Northeastern. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m.